how-to-respond-to-negative-customer-reviewsOnline shopping consumes more of the market share every year, and with that comes the growing importance of customer reviews. More online retailers use them now than ever, and most of us specifically look for them while shopping to guide us towards the right products.

In fact, 80% of consumers say they’ve been recommended a certain product or service and been all ready to buy it, only to cancel at the last moment due to a negative local review they saw online. The mere thought of this sends a chill down the spine of retailers near and far…but it doesn’t have to.

In fact, there’s a whole lot of good that can come from negative reviews. It may not seem like there’s any silver lining to a negative review cloud that may be hanging over your head at the time, of course. However, after the initial trauma wears off you’ll be able to actually benefit from a negative review if you know how to deal with it properly.

As much as you don’t want them written about your business, negative reviews add credibility to the positive reviews you have- they lend authenticity. When customers see 100% awesomeness about a business on a local local review site, they tend not to trust it.

Negative reviews can also help your business because they give you the opportunity to respond to them. When you do that the right way, you’re actually showing the world what a great company you have. Be careful: notice we say you must respond the right way. There’s certainly an art to responding to negativity on local review sites, so let’s take a look at the ways you can smooth out those “bumps into the road”.


1. Plan Your Attack Response

It may be tempting, but don’t correct the customer who’s complaining. That even goes for situations where the customer is a crackpot. Why? Because no matter who’s right, customers will always side with customers. So please, respond by

  1. “accepting” that an error was made, and apologize
  2. make it clear that it won’t happen with any future customers
  3. offer to repair the situation somehow: a refund, a replacement, whatever it takes

2. Learn From the Best

If you’re not sure how to turn negativity into something positive, take a look at these videos:


3. Learn how to take negative reviews and make them work for your business

If you can spin gold from the negative review you got, then you’re all set.  The image below shows the response of Tim Haynes from Andrews Affordable Man and Van Company and illustrates exactly how this should be done:










Bad reviews can be used  to improve your businesses.  Sounds like magic, but it’s doable and it’s not hard.

4. Learn what you can do on the review site

There are ways for business owners to respond to negative reviews, ranging from responding to the reviews you get, to deleting and editing reviews. Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Top Pages and more, all have ways of letting the business owner deal with negativity- learn them!

5. Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews!

Last but not least, don’t let negative reviews sit there unanswered. Use the techniques described above and you’ll be zapping negativity in no time.